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© google Analysis | November 01, 2016

Google Pixel XL's BOM matches its rivals

With USD 278 in total BOM costs, the Google Pixel XL handset sells for an unsubsidized price of USD 769, a ratio comparable to those for the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
The cost to manufacture the Google Pixel phone closely matches that of its intended rivals – a logical and expected move, especially since Google’s new offering figures to target the same class of high-end users that normally flock to flagship smartphone models from Apple and Samsung.

Click to zoom - © IHS Markit
All told, the bill of materials (BOM) cost for the new Google Pixel XL 5.5-inch phone with 32 gigabytes (GB) of NAND flash memory comes to USD278, according to a preliminary teardown estimate from IHS Markit.

After including USD7.75 in basic manufacturing costs, the total cost to manufacture the Google Pixel XL rises to USD 285.75. With an unsubsidized price of USD769, the direct manufacturing cost-to-sales-price ratio is in line with those of direct competitors in the smartphone market, such as the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The Google Pixel is also available as a 5.0-inch model.

“Total BOM costs for the Google Pixel XL are, not surprisingly, in line with those of other competitors, because the supply base and specs are very similar from phone to phone—whether it’s an iPhone, a Galaxy-series phone or the Google Pixel XL,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of cost benchmarking services for IHS Markit. “The Pixel clearly targets the same top-end flagship space occupied by the Apple iPhone and top-end Samsung Galaxy lines, with retail pricing points that directly compete with these products.”

The Google Pixel may also have an advantage for now over counterparts offered by Android rival Samsung, given the permanent withdrawal from the market of the Galaxy Note 7 after manufacturing defects caused the phone’s batteries to explode.

The Pixel comes in two variants – the 5.0-inch Pixel and the 5.5-inch Pixel XL – along with two memory capacities (32 and 128 GB). Both the Pixel and Pixel XL feature an aluminum enclosure with active-matrix organic light-emitting-diode (AMOLED) displays, which also are utilized for Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform. Both Pixel models also come with 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM and Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 821 CAT-12 LTE modem design, supporting up to three-carrier aggregation and maximum theoretical download speeds of 600 megabits per second (Mbps). With the Pixel, Google is also signaling a design trend toward a complete Qualcomm system-on-chip (SoC) and radio frequency (RF) design; the Galaxy Note 7 featured the last such RF360 design.

Another feature of the Pixel is the high-end mobile photography capabilities of its 12-megapixel camera, with a large 1.55-micrometers (μm) imaging pixel size. While the primary camera does not have optical image stabilization (OIS) in the module, an electronic OIS is provided through the sensor fusion that takes out video shakes via software.

Notable battery life, but lack of water resistance

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL sport battery ratings of 2,770 and 3,450 milliamp hours (mAh), respectively, for a very capable 13 to 14 hours of use time over 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) internet. The Pixel also leverages Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 technology, embedded in the Snapdragon chipset, providing seven hours of use with just 15 minutes of charging. But similar to versions of the Nexus, Google’s previous phone offering, the Pixel does not include wireless charging functionality. More surprisingly, however, Google neglected to include a water-resistant enclosure design on the Pixel.

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